sumac muse


The new Solomon will show
a spirit of discernment.
No more time spent
on wastes of shame, Sheba – no.

He might see the Parousia
if he takes care.
His friend Hobo (where’d
he go?) will likely not carouse

far, yah.  He’s by the river,
as per.  Autumn sumac
beads along railroad track.
Dry cotton bones, monsieur.

François might join him there,
under gibbous moon,
Paris monsoon...
cornered at the bridge of the stair.

Amigo Frank – piano soul of Frisco,
tempering tomorrow.
Palming witness so
to stigma of twinship, boy-o.

Thunderbird collects herself
over Red Wing swamps.
Imperial affliction stamps
[available in lobby]. Guelf

to Ghibelline, Dante wit Beatrice...
Moses and Elijah frame
their thorny throne (slim
acmé of suave pillars).  Touché.



banquet at the end of time


The banquet at the end of time,
the invitation read –
the living & the dead
to celebrate.  This pantomime

of solemn feasting they perform
beneath cavernous timbers
(burnt resinous embers)
foreshadows that preternatural storm

of joy, tasting our expectation –
when Eli’s empty chair
so hopeful (floating there)
is overflowing with affection

once again.  As we well know,
observes bright Magdalen –
beseeching, in the garden,
gardener (raw moon of woe).

& what it all may mean for Hobo
Hank, lazing out
his salvation-boat
conundrum (Solipsism, ho!)...

Can it be can-do canoe?
If anyone thinks they
know anything (See
St. Paul!) they’re in Pig’s Eye

sez he.  My inconsequence
is like a Pushkin move;
chess is like love,
government... clear as Providence.



eye in the level

replica of Roger Williams' compass, pocket sundial


The pilgrim in the wilderness
like young George Washington
will draw a survey line
in order to project his progress

straight ahead, from point to point.
Primordial Providence
the paradisal focus –
your pen’s first instance.  Appoint

your 2nd Adam, then, Most High
to be the gold eye
in the level – bead the way
with your Accordion of earth & sky,

dream-song of host & guest alike.
My Christianity
is primitive, really.
This nazir chanting by the lake

was also Elohim; we sponged the vinegary
wine together, soaked
the dry bread – smoked
the peace pipe in his company.

My Providence is primitive as well.
Young Roger at the river’s
edge, his seekers, strivers –
welcomed, welcoming – a lunar shell

for pattern of a little government
upon her shoulder (Ocean
State).  Mirroring Sine
of Wave... rinsing tomorrow’s present.



a glossolalia from grapevine hive


The gray clouds in the distance, over
the Bruegel panorama.
Coltrane, Alabama.
Hollow octave.  Windblown clover.

In the foreground, a guy named Frank.
Jeff, Joe... somebody
you know, Big Daddy?
No.  Here to clean the sewage tank.

In the garage, a long-unused canoe.
Dry almond shell,
cicada husk.  Well,
things happen.  I loved her, too.

Everything wears out like a garment,
Preacher says.  Love’s
monarch’s in the grove –
dark cedars frame him monument.

Cupped hands perform their wrinkled rite,
a mandorla for Miriam
(her longest night).  I am
your cloud-shape spinning into sight,

I am your turtledove of rose
granite.  A woven smile
gets fuzzy, chile.  Goes
bumbly, succeeding prose;

a glossolalia from grapevine hive
that only Providence
(unleafing salience)
can sail through oven husk – alive.



plastic leaves & bottlecaps


This autumn wind-chime Sophie made
like El Anatsui (African
weaver spider-man)
from plastic leaves & bottlecaps, tied

with bright ribbons – a key, a table knife,
a silver keychain ring,
a crystal ball... everything
needful for the voyage into afterlife

(October & November, winter
ice).  I hear it now,
an echo from the prow
of gray stone mothership.  Your

Notre Dame of infinite mercy,
villain François.  Or Chartres,
Hen – where light chartreuse
rhymes with sky-blues, calm sea

of sunset rose.  On the scarred floor
a labyrinthine feedback
loop speeds Argo-carrack
by umbilical thesis to Ari’s door.

Arachne, Ariadne...in Rhode Island?
One subterranean Ocean
Stream, Atlantean
where every son of J sails home again

across Medea’s Méditerranée – &
where Medusa’s stone frown
melts, to gleaming crown
of salty dew... grail of compassion.



goldenrod honeybee


This bumblebee on goldenrod,
hunting the crossroad
at close of summer.  Old
Hobo character – camouflaged

in yellow-black (almost).  Henry’s
obsession with absence.
I’d go the distance
into infinite cornfields, he says.

The river subculture, the dream
of floating back home.
Churnagogue palindrome
or unknown womb... clay baptism.

The cottonwood leaves seem to flow
like golden honey, then –
in Taurida, on the autumn
wind.  Like little heart-ships, so

they swim.  Out of the tight-knit shawl,
out of the everlasting
fire.  None shall be coming
to the Father except by Son, y’all –

by way of Mother.  That absolute
Somebody – a labyrinth
of stars, wherein we are hid
like lightning bugs, or lambent flute

reflections (crane-bone twins).
Flickering far beyond
woodpecker Trebizond,
sleepwalker Knossos – wheeling fins.



political sonnet

                                  i.m. Alexander Litvinenko

Some Russian in a London hospital
is losing all his hair, can barely speak.
The doctors are confused.  His liquids leak.
It seems he may not make it, after all.
He slumps his ugly body to the wall.
Polonium-210 is quite unique –
this instrument of power at its peak
reduces fractious elements to nil.
And yet a feeble whisper emanates
from dying lips (all victims are pathetic).
You’re a bona fide barbarian,
he croaks (to Mr. Vladimir Putin).
You’ve proved you don’t deserve the trust
of my beloved Russia.  Last words stick.


Beulah is 90

                       for MRG

Beulah fell asleep this afternoon
in her sidewalk chair.  Phosphor clouds
spun tacked-up overhead – caravels
unknotting archipelagoes of dreams.
Beulah is ninety.  All she’s done
was finished years ago – love, kids,
work... making, helping.  Now the swells
of receding seasons wester into beams
of sundown.  The scramble to survive,
the ferris wheels of sex and politics,
her wrestlings with faith and doubt
are folded into one frail dormant hive
of arms, face, breast.  Fleet prolix
dreams fuse with the Dreaming she’s about.